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Developer: Valve L.L.C.
Publisher: Sierra On-Line, Inc.
Release Date: November 19, 1998
Chat-Room: #halflife
Buy Physical:
Buy Digital: Steam


If you thought all action games were the same, think again. Half-Life's intricate environmental challenges, rich story-line, and frighteningly intelligent adversaries add up to a new kind of challenge--one that demands you use your weapons and your wits. Monsters don't walk blindly into your gunfire--they're cunning as hell and they want to live as badly as you do. Friendly characters aren't cannon fodder--they're critical to your success. Add 16-bit color, machines you control, and realistic 3D sound effects and you've got a game that is so alive, so intelligent, so real, you'll swear it has a pulse.

16-bit rendering (65,000 colors), dynamic lighting, blurring and translucency means your opponents are as lifelike as they are deadly. Half-Life has developed all these features in software so now they're an integral part of the gameplay, not just eye-candy. Of course, if you do have OpenGL, Direct3D, or MMX hardware, things will look mind-bogglingly cool.

Half-Life's enemies are also remarkably--even terrifyingly--intelligent. The grunts, for example, work together, lay down cover fire, flank you and use grenades to flush you out. You'd better think as fast as they do.

The all new animation system makes monsters more spectacularly menacing than ever before. Half-Life's characters have the highest polygon count, and the most fluid and complex motion ever seen in an action game.

Half-Life has a life of its own. Events will occur and characters will evolve even if you are not around to see them. You can intervene in these scenes, and dramatically alter the outcome of the mission! So think twice before adopting a 'shoot first, ask questions later' strategy, because one of your potential targets might be able to help you out of a tight spot later on.

Take on up to 31 other human opponents on popular multiplayer sites including WON.NET, or through services such as Gamespy -- or set up your own server. You will also be able to use graffiti and bullet holes to track where you've been, leave yourself hints, or taunt other players!

taken from the back of the box


Magazine features

• Computer Gaming World #157 - Aug 1997
        Quake Lives On
• Computer Gaming World #158 - Sep 1997
        E3 Report
• Computer Gaming World #159 - Oct 1997
        Ichthyosaur ad
• Computer Gaming World #160 - Nov 1997
        X-ray ad
• Computer Gaming World #161 - Dec 1997
        3 page Assasin ad
        Monster Buyer's Guide
• Computer Gaming World #163 - Feb 1998
        Post-reboot print ad
• Computer Gaming World #166 - May 1998
        Security Complex ad
• Computer Gaming World #167 - Jun 1998
        Voodoo 2 ad
• Computer Gaming World #168 - Jul 1998
        Office complex ad
• Computer Gaming World #169 - Aug 1998
        Falcon Northwest promo
        Voodoo 2 ad alt
• Computer Gaming World #170 - Sep 1998
        +100 Hot New Games
        Print Ad
• Computer Gaming World #173 - Dec 1998
        Sneak Preview
        Holday Top 100
        Diamond ad
• Computer Gaming World #175 - Feb 1999

Source code availability

The only sources that have been released are game-logic as part of their SDK.

Your only option for a fully open clone of Half-Life is Frag-Net's own FreeHL.

How-to-play On-line

You need to port-forward 27015 (UDP) in order to host a server.

The original disc release is not playable out of the box, however you can grab fragnet.lst and place it in your valve/ directory and launch the game with the command-line parameter:

hl.exe -comm fragnet.lst

That's all! You can also overwrite woncomm.lst if you want it to be permanent.

The digital version requires the proprietary Steam client, which is not available on most platforms. The multi-player there works out of the box, but is incompatible with any other version.


Filename Size Description
hl1110.exe 82.0 MB Half-Life update v1.1.1.0 (English, Win32)
fhl1110.exe 80.1 MB Half-Life update v1.1.1.0 (French, Win32)
ghl1110.exe 76.2 MB Half-Life update v1.1.1.0 (German, Win32)
ihl1110.exe 79.9 MB Half-Life update v1.1.1.0 (Italian, Win32)
nvhl1110.exe 78.8 MB Half-Life update v1.1.1.0 (Korean, Win32)
shl1110.exe 80.0 MB Half-Life update v1.1.1.0 (Spanish, Win32)

Third-party downloads

You can find loads of custom levels and mods to play with your install of Half-Life by visiting:

The Whole Half-Life

Along with the legendary:

The Snarkpit

Both sites have been around since the early 00s and have been kept alive by the community with their ever growing databases. We salute them!

Most levels and mods are slowly working under FreeHL.

Half-Life™, and any associated characters are ® ™ Valve Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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